tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN June 19, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
meanwhile it is time for cnn newsroom with poppy harlow and jim sciutto. we'll see you tomorrow. all right, good morning, everyone. top of the hour i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. moments ago former communications director hope hicks arrived on capitol hill. that is her there. she'll testify behind closed doors today before the house judiciary committee. hicks is the first member of the president's inner circle to go in front of the panel as part of its probe into obstruction of justice by the president. >> what will she say? as one of the president's most trusted advisors she's expected to be divisioned about key moments cited in mueller's report. the white house, though, this morning is pushing back arguing she's immune from answering questions about anything regarding her time in the administration. let's go to lauren fox. she joins us on capitol hill. so what is the hope here? what is the committee trying to accomplish by questioning her
because she has come before congress before. >> reporter: that's right. they have a few key moments they plan to ask her about, one of them about the leadp to the 2016 election, those hush money payments made to silence some of those involved in trump's alleged extra marital affairs. that's going to be of course questioning this morning, but that's not it. they also want to know about some of those key moments from the mueller report. that of course could have a lot to do with the dispute unfolding behind closed doors today between the white house and democrats on the judiciary committee. the firing of james comey, they want to ask her about efforts to dismiss mueller, and allegations that trump tried to curtail mueller's investigation. now, yesterday the white house council sent a letter to the white house judiciary committee arguing hope hicks was immune from answering any questions about her time in the white house. it said, quote, because of this constitutional immunity and in order to protect the
prerogatives of the office of the president, the president has directed ms. hicks not to answer questions before the committee relating to the time of her service as a senior advisor to the president. now, disputes and disagreements behind what she'll not answer behind closed doors are out of our cameras views, but we do expect a transcript to be released of this meeting in a couple of days. joining me now a former federal prosecutor and former legal analyst. the white house claiming executive privilege here. she has, though, discussed these matters with a special counsel. how can executive privilege apply before the judiciary committee and not there? >> it may not, jim. there's a strong argument that anyone who's already spoken or been interviewed may have waived the privilege. courts are a little bit careful about recognizing a blanket
waiver just as they're careful to recognize a blanket assertion. and the trump administration is treating executive privilege like the new black. they are just asserting it every possible opportunity. >> and basically challenging -- this to be challenged in court, right which democrats will likely do if they get satisfaction here. how long does that process play out? >> it could play out for a long time. the courts may expedite it a little bit. there are instances where it can drag out for quite some time like in the holder case, some of it wasn't resolved for years. other times it can move a little bit more quickly because it's primarily 100% legal issue, it's not really factual ones so you don't have to spend a lot of time developing a record on it. >> you have said that good questions by this panel will result in a very damning hearing even with an assertion of executive privilege. tell us why. >> exactly. it's because it's the same reason why in criminal cases the
courts won't allow prosecutors to call a defendant just to put them on the stand, ask them a question like did you commit the murder, and then say say i invoke the fifth amendment. the same kinds of questions repeated over and over again, did president trump try to fire robert mueller to stop the investigation? i refuse to answer on grounds of executive privilege. over a small amount of time that leads to a body of very incriminating sounding questions and lack of answers. >> yep, yep. and the president of course has criticized people in the past, saying that would be a sign of guilt. democrats have a plan for the possibility of on the spot negotiation on each of these answers. in other words, if she claims executive privilege how about we ask under these terms, et cetera. can that be adjudicated in the moment? >> it cannot be adjudicated in the moment much like a deposition, they'll have to
reach some agreement. probably they'll agree to disagree. like we'll pass on that question, wait to go to the court on it. i would note that question by question is the court sanctioned method to proceed. in previous cases the courts have said you need to go question by question, document by document on these assertions as opposed to what the white house council is trying to do which is just blanket assert it before they ever get there. >> and it's a big issue. can the executive exert executive privilege on a whole host of things when congress is empowered to hold executive power in check. meanwhile, president trump officially kicking off his 2020 re-election campaign. sure felt a lot like 2016. sure felt like the last several months when the president had lot of similar rallies. >> in miami where the president is today, good morning, joe. >> reporter: yeah, the president is here at his resort. he's expected to have a
fund-raiser around midday. then he's going to fly back to washington, d.c. and give the presidential medal of freedom to economist author laffer. this was supposed to be a reset moment for the administration, a reset moment for the campaign, but it's really been campaigning ever since he won in 2016, and we heard a lot of the same theme. from hillary clinton to robert mueller. we heard about immigration, of course, border security, fake news. this was really the same old story, same old song and dance. take a listen. >> no collusion, no obstruction. many times i said we would drain the swamp. we are building the wall. our radical democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. we'll tell sleepy joe that we found the magic wand. the sleepy guy.
>> reporter: the president did apparently come up with a new campaign slogan -- keep america great again. and he also touched on many of his successes over the last years including talking about the economy through the exaggeration there he's used before, this may be one of the best economies in the history of the united states. as we all know, it's not all that although it was a very good first quarter. back to you. >> he's also claiming to have accomplished more in two years than any president in history. also questionable. thanks very much. >> let's talk this with the director of strategic communications for president trump pfs 2020 campaign. good morning, mark. thanks for joining us. >> good morning, poppy. thank you. >> quite a crowd last night and we heard the president touting some of his accomplishments. we did. but the strategy was really clear, and here it is.
>> our radical democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. they want to destroy you, and they want to destroy our country as we know it. >> why does the president feel that sowing more division amongst the american people is the best strategy to win in 2020? >> i'm not sure it's considered being sowing division. i think it's pointing out many of the policies being endorsed by some of the leading candidates are going to destroy the fabric of america as we know it. >> except, mark, they are personal attacks. we'll get to insurance, all of that, but on the attack last night it was the president with personal attacks about democrats, calling out hatred and prejudice and rage with that example. so clear that's his strategy here. it got 20,000 people cheering. but i'm just wondering why your
campaign or is your campaign betting that's the best way to win in 2020? >> well, i think we're highlighting what the president has been saying from day one in a case that many democrats and opponents frf the president are filled with what have called trump derangement syndrome. they haven't even been able to accept some of the successes gone on in this country. it's driven them whether it's through their 18 campaign, what we're seeing so far in 2020, their actions in congress and the president is calling much of that out while he's talking about the need to fight back against some of the policies that would undo basic foundational principles of our country. >> we heard the president say when he won the 2016 election, he would unite the president, that he wanted to be the president of all americans. will that no longer be the case in 2020? >> absolutely, it's the case. and it continues to be the case as how he governs as president. you know, when he see the economic gains that are cutting
across all racial break downs, all genders, even age brackets and people without college degrees, he's showing he can lead this country regardless of any of those divisions. but what we have also seen za-- >> mark, i hear you that the economy is great. the economy is great. i'm not questioning that, and i'm so glad it's great for a lot of people. not everyone, but for a lot of people. but that's not what he's talking about. that's not the rhetoric. and i just wonder if you think it might hurt in a state like florida. poll came out yesterday. it showed a whole lot of democratic presidents beating in the matchup from elizabeth warren to beto o'rourke, to joe biden to south bend, indiana, mayor pete buttigieg. are you concerned about that?
>> absolutely not. quinpieac has no success mere. >> mark, it's one of the most reliable polling sources there is. i don't want to go down this rabbit hole of questioning the voracity or legitimacy of polls. i get it, the polls aren't predictive always. i'm just asking you what you think when you see those numbers. >> i think right now any kind of poll at any level predicting what's going to happen 18 months from now is meaningless. what we are seeing from the 120,000 people that registered for tickets last night, the capacity crowd, the overflow crowd and even yesterday president trump's campaign and the party raised a record $25 million, that's more than a million dollars an hour all supporting this president. so i think as we try to look ahead, polls really don't say much right now. >> okay, you raised a lot of
money. we saw that number. it's big for sure. on the promises the president made and what he talked about last night, you brought up health insurance. let's listen to the president talking about americans with pre-existing ki pre-existing conditions and protecting those people. here he was. >> we will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. always, always. >> so then why is he pushing ahead in court to completely undo obamacare without laying any plan that would protect those with pre-existing conditions? if you wipeout obamacare, those protections go away. >> well, i think that's a flawed argument to think that obamacare is the only way to protect people with pre-existing conditions. the president has talked about in recent days he plans to come out with a health care plan in the next month or two is what he recently said, which will protect people which will also restore the fundamental principles of free market
competition. >> just to put a button on it with the facts here, if they prevail in court and wipeout obamacare, pre-existing condition protection goes away right away. and we've heard no plan of how those people will be protected. >> and that is something that it administration can work to navigate through to make sure people are precced while a new system is put in place. the key is we need to overhaul the health care system. we know for a fact that obamacare has failed even by the fact every democrat out there is campaigning for undoing it with medicare for all and those kinds of things. >> mark, we've got to go, but you leave a lot of people hanging in the balance with that strategy and a lot of people who needs those preces. thank you, mark. >> absolutely, thanks, poppy. >> okay. >> great interview. tough questions. >> thank you. breaking news this morning an independent report says that saudi arabia is behind the brutal premeditated murder of journalist jamal khashoggi, calling it deliberate,
premeditated execution. that's just ahead. and both sides backlash? the president disputing the facts on the central park five case. what he's saying about the wrongfully convicted group now. plus he's known for the miracle on the hudson but hero pilot sully sullenburger is taking another airline safety concern today on, he's talking about the boeing 737 max. showing 'em you're ready to be your own boss. that's the beauty of your smile. bring out the best in it with crest 3d white. crest removes 95% of surface stains... in just three days.
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a new independent investigation is blaming saudi arabia for the deliberate premeditated execution of journalist jamal khashoggi. >> khashoggi, a "the washington post" columnist, was murdered after entering the saudi consulate in istanbul in october 2018. his fiancee was waiting outside. the report does not go so far as to implicate the saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman. it does call for further investigation specifically, but
his role does not leave any question about the saudi government's role in this murder. cnn national correspondent clarissa ward jones us now from london. it's interesting, i don't want to say this is fence they walked here, but no question the saudi consulate is responsible, do say it struck me as interesting he almost has to prove the negative, provide evidence he was not involved, is that right? >> the actual words this u.n. investigator uses is there's credible evidence of high level saudi authority liability including the crown prince. so she appears to be very skeptical of the idea it would be possible for a killing to be orchestrated like this without the knowledge of the crown prince. but you're right, she holds back from saying it declaratively. she just says there's evidence
that warrants investigation. she's not pulling any punches in this report. she says targeted sanctions would be an appropriate response. she wants to see the u.s. and the fbi open an investigation into and potentially go ahead with criminal prosecution. she wants to see turkey reframe its investigation. she wants to see saudi arabia suspend the trial, which she says does not meet any credible international standards. but what she really hits home with that's so shocking when you're reading this is the undoubtive proof that this was premeditated. and you may remember that the saudis were trying to float this theory this was a rendition gone wrong. well, she punches a hole right through that story because she says the forensic expert, doctor who was brought as part of the team of 15 saudis is talking about dissecting a body 13 minutes before jamal khashoggi even enters the consulate. and he's talking about how it
should be done, and he's concerned about doing it on the floor because he hasn't done it on the floor before. and then someone else in the group says, has the sacrificial animal arrived, referring to khashoggi. this a very grim, very lurid report and undoubtedly will put more pressure on other nations to try and force saudi arabia's hands here to make sure someone is held accountable. >> just disgusting, disturbing and right down to the sedative and the plastic bag over the head. none of that supports the idea this was sort of spur-of-the-moment decision. clarissa ward, thanks for staying on top of the story. it's one we've promised on this broadcast to keep on top of. also this morning the iraqi military is vowing to go after those responsible following multiple rocket attacks across the country just in the past 24 hours. one of those rockets hitting the iraqi headquarters of several major oil companies including the biggest exxonmobil.
sam, what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, poppy, this has been something of a pattern that the first time the iraqi authorities in any public way at any rate has said they would go after the culprits behind these attacks with what they call an iron fist. you'll recall that fairly soon after there were four ships damaged by limpet minds in the sea. it's not far from where i'm standing here in the united arab emirates. it was followed closely by a rocket that landed quite close. wave seen a similar rocket attack landing close to an american facility in mosul. now, from the u.s. perspective this is all part clearly of an effort made by iranian proxies to maintain pressure on the
americans, a sign that the iranians are belligerent and fomenting instability across the region. from the iranian side they've denied all responsibility and simply said the iranian attacks here in the gulf of oman and rocket attacks need investigation and are suspicious. all part of that growing sense of suspicion and unease. >> such a critical time. and now the acting defense secretary is out, and this is time when we really need stability. >> and another acting one. >> sam, thank you. under fire the president's own hand picked head of the federal reserve now once again feeling the heat. the president suggesting the wrong decision from jero jerome powell on interest rates or one the president dubt like could cost him his job. mower. built to mow better, faster.
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suggesting he may potentially demote him if the fed does not lower interest rates. christine alesci is with us. wow, the fed is supposed to be always politically independent, apolitical, and yet the president is trying to have his way to boost economic numbers as he kicks off his campaign by telling the fed what to do. >> yeah, this is really remarkable action and again taking a shot at the fed's independence. to your point the fed is supposed to be 100% focused on making sure the economy is doing well, and it's supposed to be totally independent of the political cycle and because the american people comes first when it comes to fed, not whether somebody is going to get re-elected, and the president clearly trying to pressure the federal reserve to lower interest rates which will boost the economy and help him into his 2020 re-election cycle. so clearly a lot of pressure on the federal reserve today. but it is not the only place
that jerome powell is feeling the pressure from. he's also feeling it from the markets. investors want to see an interest rate cut. they want to keep the party going on wall street. >> but that's not what he's supposed to make the judgment based on, stock markets or the political -- he's supposed to make it on inflation and economic growth. >> and there's so many data points the fed uses. there's so many we can't even see. you're right, the fed looks at whether or not this expansion is sustainable or whether it needs to step in and get more aggressive and cut interest rates to spur people to spend money and therefore the economy. >> so just explain to people very quickly also if you cut rates now, you have less power to fight off a recession later, right? >> yeah, you're eliminating the tools in the toolbox. and so when we're faced with a recession you can't cut below zero. you can use other methods which we've seen the fed do before,
but those are very extreme measures. look, one of the things investors are going to be looking for today is whether or not the fed removes patience from its forward guidance. that a critical word because patience meant the fed was going to step back and let the economy do its thing. if they remove that word that means thal take a more aggressive stance, he said, quote-unquote, we'll act appropriate to sustain economic expansion. the question is does he deliver today and possibly cave to the market and the president? >> we'll watch. christina, great reporting. thank you so much. >> four people will face murder charges over the downing of malaysia airlines flight 17. the announcement comes five years after the plane was shot down over eastern ukraine killing all 298 people onboard, many of them children. investigators will issue arrest warrants for three russians and
one ukrainian. they will not ask for extradition because both countries prohibit extra dying their skrzs. authorities have said that flight mh-17 was shot out of the sky by a missile fired from a russian military launcher in russian controlled territory. moskow has denied any involvement and created a whole host of conspiracy theories around this. >> you have a whole chapter of this in your book. >> because it really is one of the most shocking crimes. 298 people blown out of the sky. and i tell the story in the book how u.s. intelligence knew within hours of it plane going down, they identified what kind of missile that it was, that it came from russian controlled territory, and now you have russians who were in charge of that area being charged with this murder here. it's really one of the most shocking crimes. sadly you can't extradite when you don't have agreements. >> so just minutes from now lawmakers on capitol hill will hear from pilots, pilots who
have been criticized and who have criticized boeing in the wake of these two deadly crashes. captain sully sullenberger who of course became famous after safely landing that plane in the hudson river in 2009, he will be among those testifying today. this is house subcommittee hearing and is looking into a boeing and the 737 max. >> the plane has been grounded around the world since two crashes killed more than 300 people. drew griffon has the very latest from washington. drew, it's been a remarkable story to follow here because there were clearly so many warning signs either missed or ignore by boeing. >> reel look for dan kerry, he represents the american airlines pilots. that's a company that flies the max. he is just infuriated at all this innuendo and talk up on capitol hill by boeing and the faa that somehow or another you can blame this on pilots
especially when it comes to the ethiopian air crash. he wants to put the focus back squarely on this plane, the design of this plane and why and how the faa certified this plane to fly. and if this did have something to do in the end, jim, with pilot air, he wants to know why the pilots in the 737 max were never told about the system that's at fault here and were never trained on the system that is in fault here. so he wants to make sure this goes back squarely looking at why the faa and boeing put this plane up in the air in the first place and get off this idea that you can just kind of blame the pilots. so i'm looking for fireworks out of him especially this year. >> and boeing has implied often not too subtly particularly foreign pilots don't know quite how to handle this plane. are the issues solved now, and will this plane fly soon again? >> the answer is no and maybe.
what you're seeing is i think what we're going to -- in fact, i'm just talked to a source this morning that says the certification flight for the faa is probably going to be in the next two week. that's probably when the faa takes this plane back up in the air. and maybe end of september, october, u.s. airlines take this plane back up in the air, jim. >> we'll see if passengers are comfortable with it base on what they know. drew griffon, great to vu-on the story. president trump now saying both sides are to blame in the case of the exoneraed, we should note, central park five. does that comment, both sides sound familiar? we're going to discuss the topic as it relates to this. whether very hard evidence as to who was behind that crime. we're going to discuss it next. you should be mad at forced camaraderie. and you should be mad at tech that makes things worse.
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no apology from president trump for his actions during the height of the central park five case back in the late 1980s. at the time the president took out a full page ad to "the new york times" calling for the death penalty, the death penalty for five new york teenagers falsely we would learn accused of rape. 14 years later dna evidence exonerated them. >> mr. president, will you apologize to the central park 5? they've been exonerated, there have been videos and movies shown about the case and you came out a full page ad saying they should have the death penalty. >> why do you bring that question up now? it's an interesting time to bring it up. you have people on both sides of that. they admitted their guilt. if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case. so we'll leave it at that.
>> all right, so why did april ryan bring up that very appropriate question, well, because everyone is talking about it based on the netflix mini series "when they see us." it's renewed national attention on the case and caused some of those prosecutors to step down from their current roles and boards. let's talk about it. it was a very appropriate question, a very timely question and an important one for you to ask. i wonder, april, what was your reaction when the president not only denied the facts but used those words, both sides? >> reporter: both sides. i mean both sides stood out from charlottesville. and i listened for his apology which he did not give at all. he wants to stand on the wrong that he, i guess, put in "the new york times," that full page ad. if it was left to the president these five men would not be with
us today even though they're innocent. dna evidence has proven that they are innocent. so the president, i mean i'm wondering now after he's probably found out about the dna evidence and even more if he would take back what he said yesterdayo or if he would chan it even. >> they found out in 2002. >> yeah, it's been a while. this case as you know resonates deeply in the black community. it speaks to injustice in the criminal system. what are the implications for the black vote in 2020 and does it resonate to that extent? >> reporter: well, jim,oy not just the black vote. the stral park five kinlted of black and hispanic men. the implications the fact the president keeps talking about the fact the oh, the economy is
great, the black and employment numbers are dropping, well they're dropping without him doing anything. if this president were to put his hands on something to target the black community when it comes to high unemployment numbers, it could probably come down to those of our white counter parts. but the black vote when it comes to these issues particularly at a time when the president is talking about prison reform and sentencing reform, which really entails this central park five case, it looks like hypocrisy. when you look at prison and sentencing reform, the president is talking about fishing wrongs of the penal system. this was a wrong of the central park five that was fixed, and the black community is a crucial vote. and democrats are trying to court the black vote. i mean hillary clinton got 94% of black women and 80% of black men when she ran. if the president wants to cut
into those numbers he needs to apologize for this because the black community is really speaking out about what was said yesterday by the president on this matter. >> no denying the facts, right? that's another element to this. april ryan, smart question. good to have you on the program. just moments ago democratic presidential candidate and mayor of southbend, indiana, pete buttigieg addressed an officer involved shooting in his community that promped him to take some time off the campaign trail. he was speaking to southbend police officers. we'll have what he told them coming up. and taking you inside humanity's great feat with newly discovered incredible footage. you'll see it only right here on cnn sunday night 9:00 eastern.
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welcome back. 2020 contender and south bend indiana mayor pete buttigieg is dealing with a shooting. >> and he ordered all body cameras to be turned on during counters with civilians. our politics reporter is with us now. so he has to answer to this. of course he is running for president at the same time. and these issues are hot-button issu issues. so how is he answering these questions in. >> this morning there was a swearing in ceremony for new officers, it is supposed to be a
celebratory time, but he took the time to focus on the shooting that happened on sunday that resulted in the address of a south bend resident and he took the time this morning to explain to officers how important their job was now and going forward. take a listen. >> understandable anger over why our system of body worn cameras did not lead to a clearer picture of what happened sunday. it is just a reminder of how much work we have yet to be done. how much work it will take all of us to reinforce trust. how far we all have to go before the day when no community member or officer would hesitate to trust one another's word. >> and i was in south bend on monday evening at a candlelight vigil for the victim, eric logan. and one 69 thiof the talked about is the fact that there is no body cam footage to basically explain w457d, the
community feels like now the relationship between them and the police department, any progress that was made, has now taken many steps back. >> so here is the thing. for fight buttigieg, there is a history here and a couple really important ones because of actions that you took with the police prior to running for president. >> that's right, he demoted and then fired the first black police chief in south bend and this was because of a scandal with police tapes. police officers in the department were being recorded and the police chief found out at the time but there were allegedly racist comments made, and the police chief said we're going to continue recording these people. when the mayor found out, he had to make the decision was this legal and he decided that it was not appropriate at the time. he demoted and then fired that chief. but this tape's case as it is known is still being litigated in the city of south bend. so this is going to stick with pete buttigieg for quite some
time as he is still running for president. >> and tied to broader national conversation about the behavior of police in these ents counter. so a big test for him. have a necessa vanessa, great to have you. >> let's listen to the chair of the house judiciary committee jerry nadler speaking to reporter reporters -- he just stepped away. this is a big deal because hope hicks is testifying before his committee today and the white house is limiting to what questions she will answer. >> and they said that they will claim executive privilege and therefore not answer many of the questions. maybe all the questions. we'll come back to you with exactly what the chairman said after this short break. my experience with usaa
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alaska. >> reporter: this young woman is at the center of a disturbing cat fish scheme, induced online to murder her supposed best friend. >> i know what i did was wrong. and i could have probably done something different. >> reporter: the 18-year-old's arraignment in an alaska courtroom turned into something of a confession. authorities say it all began after brimmer struck online relies ship with someone she thought was a wealthy man named tyler from kansas who prosecutors say offered brimmer at least $9 million to rape and murder someone in alaska and to have photos and videos of the murder sent to him. what brimmer didn't know is that tyler was a catfisher, his real identity police say, 21-year-old darryn shilmiller. the victim, a 19 j-year-old bou with duct tape and shot and
killed. >> my daughter didn't deserve all this. she should have had the friends that she wants. >> reporter: she had a learning her vulnerable. the killing was carried out by brimmer and four of her friends. all charged with first degree murder. under the ghuise of going out o a shik, she was taken to the bank and shot one time in the back of the head. her body then thrown into the river. >> i have one thing in my mind right now. and that is to send all six of them to hell. and i ain't going to rest until it's done. and after it is all done, i'll show my emotions. >> reporter: court documents say that the alleged mastermind of all this directed brimmer in alaska to commit sexual assault against some minors, one of whom was 8 or 9 years old. investigators say they recovered
video evidence showing those crimes. this is a jaw dropping case. and of course still a lot of unanswered questions. >> disturbing beyond belief. dan simon, thanks very much. good wednesday morning to you. i'm jimsciutto. >> and i'm poppy harlow. hope hicks is testifying behind closed doors on capitol hill. this is all part of the investigation into possible ob struck of justice by president trump. >> the white house saying they will not let her answer questions citing executive privilege. manu raju o, you've been speaki to lawmakers. are the lawyers claims executive privilege here?